New Year’s Eve fireworks at my friends’ house in Nashua.

My word for 2017 was forward. It was my theme for the year–the concept I wanted to keep in the center of my life and mind. In light of my last post, it may seem that I stalled on that concept, but I disagree.

The places I was forced to stand still (or even, in a few instances, back up) were all areas out of my control.

The things I did have control over moved forward. I picked up several freelance projects and became a working writer. I read and blogged about over thirteen books featuring diverse characters. (Even though I had secretly hoped to hit 26 books, my stated goal was nevertheless met, so I consider it a success even though things fell apart in August due to some of those out-of-my-control bits.) Most important to me, I finished writing and revising a novel, wrote and polished the query and synopsis, and drew up a list of over 70 agents that I want to query.

And something came unstuck in me after my last post, as well. I finished Tricker’s Queen, and even zoomed through Beauty Queens and started When Dimple Met Rishi. I’m not certain exactly how I will approach book recommendations on this blog in the future, but I’m reading again, which is a tremendous relief. I’m still moving forward.

Though I intend to maintain momentum, the word I’ve chosen for 2018 is heart. In deciding what to focus on this year, I kept going back to the areas where I was forced to stall, last year. I decided to reclaim what I could. So, this year, when choosing the people and activities I spend my time with, I will concentrate on those that I treasure and that nurture the heart of who I am. What’s essential?

Among those things are my husband, kids, and dog; the new book I’m writing; and some friends I’ve fallen out of touch with as I pulled inward over the past two years. There’s more, of course. But that’s the heart of it.